By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– For McKay’s David Rubio, the experience at the Cadet National Team Duals and the Cadet National Duals had helped the soon-to-be-junior learn about how he can improve upon from facing against some of the Nations best freshman and sophomores in the freestyle and Greco-Roman styles of wrestling as part of Team Oregon.
“I loved it,” described Rubio on the experience with Team Oregon. “(I) met a lot of good wrestlers from Oregon and got to work with them, and I feel like I see what I need to improve on I’m carrying on all the knowledge into wrestling season and my training.
“It was good, and all of us Oregon guys just clicked and it felt like we knew each other for years already,” said Rubio on wrestling alongside some of Oregon’s best young talent of the mat.
Joining Rubio was Sprague phenom Santos Cantu at the 195 pound class and as the team battled well in the Freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions against Arizona and Florida to name a few; Cantu showcased that freshman talent he showed in his State Title win, finishing fourth in the Freestyle National bracket and reached the semis once more in the Greco-Roman division before falling to Peter Christensen of Illinois 4-1 to finish fourth as well.
Both fourth-place finishes were at the National Duals in Fargo, North Dakota as the Olympians Daniel McClung too took part in the Cadet-level freestyle tournament at the 132 pound class in North Dakota. After losing his opening match 12-1, the soon-to-be-junior climb through the consolation bracket, picking up a tight 18-17 win in the second round of the Round of 64.
That was followed by sound 14-8 and 12-2 wins over Matt Doyle of Iowa and Nate Rodriquez of Nevada to get into the Round of 16. But that’s when the great journey of McClung lost a tough 12-9 decision to Jake Niggenegger of Ohio to end his jouney through the consolation bracket for third-place.
As the three returned to Oregon, Rubio described the competition in both Pennsylvania and North Dakota as tough, but beneficial as both Salem wrestlers come back better from the experience.
“Freestyle was my favorite I just love shooting, but Greco was harder for me,” said Rubio who went 1-2 in freestyle and 0-2 in Greco-Roman. “Greco is all about positioning you know and I feel like I learned different things from other states that can help me out here in Oregon.”